Ukraine’s anti-corruption fight in Kharkiv: the case of Gorky Park, a “monument to corruption”

Multimedia, Reforms

The Chatham House Ukraine Forum has released a short documentary on the Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Centre and their fight against the system in Ukraine, and how corruption at the local level drains resources from human development. The story of Dmytro Bulakh and his organization illustrates how deep the tentacles of corruption reach and how local officials are afraid of more transparency. Dmutro Bulakh was attacked in August 2017 for what he believes is his anti-corruption activity. He is among many other activists who suffered attacks. In 2018 only there were more than 40 activists attacked.

The Kharkiv Anti-corruption Centre is fighting against the system, working to make Ukraine’s second largest city’s municipal companies more transparent and to expose cases of corruption to Kharkiv citizens. They call the city’s coolest image project, Gorky Park, a “monument to corruption.” Kharkivians still don’t know how much the luscious park cost; all they know is that it was built thanks to the loan of a Russian bank. At a time when Ukraine is struggling to make ends meet on all fronts, this is akin to “all fur coat and no knickers.” What is the real goal of such an extravagant recreation center?

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